America’s choice to pull out of Syria is a disgrace


Graphic by Anna Arnsberger

Luke Widenhouse

President Trump’s decision to withdraw all American troops from Northern Syria must be met with the sharpest of criticism. 

The Kurds have been our allies in our war against ISIS. Yet, President Trump’s decision has directly put the Kurds at the mercy of Turkey as they launch a major offensive against our allies. Turkey’s stated aim has been to create a “safe zone” in Northern Syria, yet all they have really done thus far is massacre our ally. The chaos there has had the added effect of leading to the release of dozens of ISIS prisoners in Northern Syria. Our withdrawal threatens to see the reemergence of the Islamic State which threatens innocent lives and the stability of the Middle East. Even in spite of the recent death of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the Islamic State remains a danger to long term stability in the Middle East. Our goal in Syria has been to defeat an insurgency that threatens not only innocent lives but the long term stability of the Middle East and the rules-based international order that we built after World War II. 

Still yet, Trump’s decision has come as something of a birthday present to Putin (who was born on October 7th). Almost immediately after the decision was announced, Russia made a deal with Turkey and Russian military police have entered Syria with the stated aim of clearing the Kurds from northern Syria. If history has taught us anything it’s that we should never sit back and watch as authoritarian rulers massacre people and expand beyond their borders. We did not sufficiently deter Russian aggression in Ukraine and despite the fact that Russia has played a significant role in the Middle East already, the US should not be standing idly by as Putin tries to harm another people. 

America’s integrity as a nation is also at stake after this decision. As a major global leader, abandoning an ally and allowing one of the major threats to international peace to grow, just as it was about to be eradicated, threatens American credibility in the world. This decision ought not to be supported. •